BBC Radio Scotland explained

BBC Radio Scotland
Airdate:23 November 1978

93.8-94.7 MHz
MW: 810 kHz
Freeview: 719 (Scotland Only)
Freesat: 712
Sky: 0116
Virgin Media: 930RDS: BBC SCOT

Share:9.2 %
Share As Of:March 2011
Share Source:
Format:News, music, sport, talk
BBC Scotland
Webcast:Listen Live

BBC Radio Scotland is BBC Scotland's national English-language radio network. It broadcasts a wide variety of programming, including news, sport, light entertainment, music, the arts, comedy, drama, history and lifestyle. It replaced the Scottish BBC Radio 4 opt-out service of the same name from 23 November 1978.

BBC Radio Scotland broadcasts 24 hours, delivering archive programming under the name, the zones, through the night.


See main article: BBC Home Service. BBC Radio Scotland was founded as a full-time radio network in 1978, although the name had been used since 1974 for the Scottish opt-out version of BBC Radio 4 (previously the Scottish Home Service and then Radio 4 Scotland). The establishment of a separate network was only made possible when Radio 4 became a fully UK-wide network and moved from medium wave to long wave.

There is no BBC Local Radio in Scotland and although opt-out stations were established in Inverness (BBC Radio Highland) on 25 March 1976, followed by Radio Aberdeen in April 1976, BBC Radio Orkney and BBC Radio Shetland in May 1977, Selkirk (BBC Radio Tweed) on 11 April 1983 and Dumfries (BBC Radio Solway) on 16 April 1983, only the Orkney and Shetland stations still exist; the others had all been closed by the early 1990s and are now served by Radio Scotland with four opt-out news bulletins a day. Previously planned opt-outs in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee were never realised with local coverage available only online for those cities.

The most famous and controversial head of Radio Scotland in recent years was James Boyle.


The station broadcasts a wide range of programming, including news, debate, music drama, comedy and sport commentaries.

News and current affairs

News and current affairs programming has always constituted the dominant part of BBC Radio Scotland's schedules, especially on weekdays. In addition to regular, mostly hourly, news bulletins, the station broadcasts a wide range of longer, more in-depth news and current affairs strands.

Good Morning Scotland (weekdays, 0600–0845) is Scotland's longest-running radio programme and one of the most popular in the country, providing regular news, sport, business, travel and weather bulletins along with interviews and in-depth reports in a manner similar to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, but from a Scottish perspective. It also features the daily religious slot Thought for the Day, again similar to that broadcast on Radio 4's Today programme.

The other daily news and current affairs strands are the Call Kaye phone-in with Kaye Adams (0850–1030), John Beattie (1200–1315), Newsdrive (1600–1800) and the political programme Scotland at Ten (2205–2230). BBC Radio Scotland also air live First Ministers Questions from the Scottish Parliament (Thu,1200-1230 (MW)) and Brian Taylor's Big Debate hosted by BBC Scotland's political editor and is in a similar format to Question Time (Fri, 1215–1300).

Weekend current affairs programming includes Newsweek Scotland (Sat, 0800–0900), Shereen (Sun, 0900–1000) and The Business (Sun, 1000–1030).


Radio Scotland's music output is designed to cater for a wide range of tastes. Daily programmes include The Tom Morton Show (1400–1600), Get It On (1800–2000 (FM)) and The Iain Anderson Show (2230–0030).

From Monday to Friday, the 2000–2200 slot on FM is held by various music programmes through the week. On Monday, Vic Galloway hosts new bands and new music. Tuesday is home to Mary-Ann Kennedy's Global Gathering with music from around the world. The Jazz House on Wednesday presents a range of jazz music and from September 2010, Bruce MacGregor presents Travelling Folk every Thursday evening which features traditional music old and new, as well as The Music Cafe that he broadcasts from the studio in Inverness on Wednesday afternons. The week is rounded off with The Music Bed, with modern music and interviews.

Weekend programming includes The Greetings Programme (Sun, 0700–0800) with a lively mix of music, past and present, Janice Forysth (Sat, 1000–1130) with music and celebrity guests, Take the Floor (Sat, 1900–2030) and Reel Blend with cèilidh music, Pipeline (Sat, 2100–2200) with piping music and Classics Unwrapped with a classical mix.


As with BBC Radio 5 Live nationally, BBC Radio Scotland carries most, if not all, of the major sporting events linked to its coverage area, holding non-exclusive rights to the Scottish Premier League and producing several editions of its Sportsound programme on a multitude of frequencies on Saturdays during the season. The station also broadcasts live commentaries from both of Scotland's domestic football cup competitions, Scotland football internationals and European games affecting Scottish teams and the rugby union Six Nations championships.

Alongside the main live coverage, Radio Scotland also produces popular sporting magazine shows such as football fanzine Off the Ball, phone-in forum Your Call with Jim Traynor and the multi-sports programme Sports Nation, presented by former Scotland rugby player, John Beattie. A 15-minute bulletin, Sports Report, reporting in-depth sport stories from Scotland and beyond, used to be transmitted at 12:45pm on weekdays but was scrapped in 2010, leading to criticism about the dominance of football on the station's output. Every weekday evening, Sportsound also broadcasts on MW, 1810–2000, looking at different aspects of Scottish football in tandem with live games.

Local opt-outs

BBC Radio Orkney and BBC Radio Shetland both air a half-hour daily news programme - Around Orkney (0730–0800) and Good Evening Shetland (1730–1800). During the winter months, this is supplemented for both areas by an hour long programme, broadcast Monday-Friday, between 1805–1900.

Local news and weather bulletins are broadcast from news studios in Selkirk, Dumfries, Aberdeen and Inverness on weekdays at 6:54am, 7:50am, 12:54pm and 4:54pm with additional bulletins from Inverness at 9:58am, 11:59am, 3:58pm and 5:58pm. Aberdeen opt-out bulletins are also broadcast on Radio Orkney and Radio Shetland.


Radio Scotland presenters include:News




Lifestyle, features and documentaries

Past presenters

Heads of Radio, Scotland

Controllers of BBC Radio Scotland hold the title "Head of Radio, BBC Scotland" on account of BBC Scotland's radio productions for other BBC networks.

Years servedController
1978 - 1979John Pickles
1980 - 1983Christopher Irwin
1983 - 1987Stan Taylor
1987 - 1992Neil Fraser
1992 - 1996James Boyle
1996 - 2000Ken MacQuarrie ("Head of Broadcast")
2000 - 2005Maggie Cunningham
2005 - presentJeff Zycinski

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "BBC Radio Scotland".

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